I’ve never met a coach that wouldn’t take a win of any other kind over the dreaded moral victory. But I’ve also never met a coach who wouldn’t take a moral victory over a bad beatdown any day. Read on for the moral and more from Friday night’s 63-58 Washington State loss to fifth-ranked Kansas State.
• The loss, even with the cringe-inducing factors of the 17 K-State offensive rebounds and the 10 missed WSU free throws, showed a lot about the Cougars. Well, a lot about what they could be. Though Kansas State, with its platoon of big guys that come at you in waves, won the rebound war – and that’s what it was – 45-33, “I don’t think anybody backed down,” said Klay Thompson. Not Thompson, who grabbed five, not DeAngelo Casto, who came up with seven in his first game back after his foot sprain and not Marcus Capers, who stood jaw-to-jaw with 6-foot-8, 245-pound Curtis Kelly in the first half, leading to a T on the KSU post. That bodes well for WSU because there are not many teams left on their schedule that will attack the glass, attack the paint, with as many aggressive big bodies as K-State can throw at you. … A lot of WSU’s offensive problems was caused by the Wildcats’ defense, an aggressive, intense man-to-man that doesn’t allow you to finish at the rim. “They are just so quick and they are longer, it was a different look for us,” Bone said. “We can’t simulate it during practice.” But they were able to handle it at times, getting enough good looks that the 3 of 16 shooting beyond the arc (18.8 percent, about 20 percent below the season average) was a disappointment. … Capers, Thompson and others helped limit star Jacob Pullen to 2 of 11 shooting. He finished with eight points, only the second time in 44 games he’s failed to score in double figures dating to his sophomore season. … We’ll post a link to our story as soon as its available. … For now, here is one for you out of Kansas.
• That’s all for now. We’ll be back in the morning. Until later …